How comfortable are you at your workplace? Do you feel valued, appreciated, engaged? According to a recent article by Tony Schwartz, “Why Appreciation Matters So Much” only 40% of workers feel their managers are genuinely interested in them. For most people, a life filled with little to no appreciation can lead to depression, lack of motivation and an overall drain on one’s energy and well being.
Expressed in the article is the observation that openly commending employees is not only a dwindling practice, but often uncomfortable for management to carry out. As stated in the text, “We’re often more experienced at expressing negative emotions,” and in turn, “The impact of negative emotions- and more specifically the feeling of being devalued- is incredibly toxic.” The larger issue at hand is not only the impact had on individual employees, but the comprehensive breakdown of office culture and collaboration. In the midst of an atmosphere lacking praise and appreciation; motivation and incentive declines and employee engagement and customer satisfaction suffer.
To improve employee gratification, managers must focus on taking the time to recognize staff members for positive actions or accomplishments. “Employee appreciation should be enacted on an individual level; how one employee responds to praise will be different than another. As managers, we must focus on getting to know what our employees prefer in regards to praise and acknowledgment,” says Kellie Eisenhauer, (e)Merge, “All employees need face to face appreciation, some are content with smaller amounts while others require more consistent acknowledgement.” “I have found, focusing on the positive aspects of an employee’s performance has a direct influence on their overall level of productivity. We still need to engage in critical conversations for behaviors that need to be improved upon, but focusing on negatives in between those conversations can be a drain on both you and the employee.” The responsibility of garnering a positive environment starts with you, the manager and the influence you have over your employees.
In most instances, businesses are run through the collaboration of employees and not solely by one individual. To keep those assisting in your business’s survival, Schwartz suggests four steps to a more sustainable team; these tips include, “Above all else, do no harm” “Practice appreciation by starting with yourself” and “Be appreciative.”
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